Discovery Brings HD to Japan, Canada

With the recent launches of a pair of HD services, Discovery Communications Inc. now counts more than 100 networks around the globe.

Discovery HD Japan became the company’s 100th service, followed by Discovery HD Canada.

Beginning with Discovery Channel’s debut before 156,000 subscribers in 1985, officials said the company now reaches some 1.3 billion customers in 160 countries and territories and 35 languages.

All told, Discovery has 16 networks in the United States; 10 in the United Kingdom; 29 in the rest of Europe, Africa and the Middle East; 20 in Asia; 20 in Latin America; and six in Canada.

“It’s very appropriate that Discovery’s 100th network is in high-definition. The company has always been aggressive in exploiting new platforms, and we are very excited about the growth potential for the high-definition market both in the United States and around the world,” Discovery Communications CEO Judith McHale said in a prepared statement.

“Our goal is to continue leveraging our global infrastructure and the strength of our brands to be a market leader for knowledge-based media everywhere in the world,” she added.